Contraventions range from parking to speeding and driving in bus lanes, but the biggest problem is non-payment of the London congestion charge.
Although companies can register vehicles so that they are automatically billed when a car enters the congestion zone, this is only available to fleets over a certain size.
Some companies admit that even if they qualify, they have not got the resources to manage the scheme and therefore have not signed up.
But lazy executives are driving them to distraction, as they repeatedly incur fines, using the excuse that they are ‘too busy’ to either pay, or remember to pay, and too important to worry about the consequences.
A source at a leading FTSE 100 company revealed that one high-ranking executive had incurred fines of £3,400 in the past year, an amount which was eventually clawed back from their salary, but only after hours spent dealing with the paperwork involved.
The firm’s fleet decision-maker told Fleet News: ‘If he wasn’t such a senior member of the company I would have requested disciplinary action be undertaken. It isn’t an isolated case either. There are other drivers who incur fines, particularly congestion fines, and claim they just keep forgetting to pay.’
It was reported recently that Transport for London (TfL) claims to have plugged a loophole which allowed a website to help drivers pay tolls without running the risk of getting a £50 fine for late payment.
Fivepounds.co.uk registered its members’ cars as company fleet vehicles and paid charges on their behalf in return for a £10-a-month fee plus tolls. The site was still live as Fleet News went to press.TfL now requires fleets to show a business-use only insurance certificate for each car.